An international study of determinants of voluntary carbon assurance

Rina Datt, Le Luo, Qingliang Tang, Girijasankar Mallik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Driven by a scarcity of literature on the issue, this study investigates corporate incentives for external carbon emissions assurance. Our sample comprises 5,184 firm-year observations across 44 countries between 2010 and 2014. The descriptive result suggests that 66 percent of the sample firms received assurance and the number of firms that adopted carbon assurance increased during the period investigated. We find that firms exposed to higher carbon risks are more likely to voluntarily seek carbon assurance. Moreover, firms that had adopted carbon reduction initiatives, with an environmental committee, with carbon reduction incentives, or with higher carbon disclosure scores tend to obtain assurance. Our study is based on a number of corporate social responsibility theories; namely, legitimacy, signaling, information asymmetry, and institutional theory. This study contributes to the literature by empirically testing the validity and applicability of these theories in the emerging field of nonfinancial assurance services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of International Accounting Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon governance
  • Carbon risk exposure
  • Climate change
  • Institutional theory
  • Legitimacy theory
  • Signaling theory
  • Voluntary carbon assurance

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